North Carolina Mugshot Removal: What You Need to Know
May 11, 2021 Arrest Records | information removal | Mugshot Removal | remove mugshot | Uncategorized
Ever arrested in North Carolina? Have you ever tried North Carolina mugshot removal on your own?
If you have ever been arrested and booked into custody in North Carolina, some state or local law enforcement office took your mugshot. Your mugshot didn’t stay there.
Most likely, your mugshot is online, even if:
- Officials dropped the charges against you
- You went to trial and the verdict was not guilty
- You did your time or paid your fine or completed your diversion
Anyone who has their mugshot online knows it can ruin your life.
Prospective employers will find your mugshot. Lenders will find your mugshot. Surety companies writing bonds for your employer will find your mugshot. The next love of your life will find your mugshot.
It’s bad enough that Google will index your North Carolina mugshot. It’s even worse that online gossip sites like Mugshots.com, and over 75 more will post your mugshots, too. These websites will try to extort you for money to delete your mugshot.
So, what can you do?
There’s a Magic Word for North Carolina Mugshot Removal
There is a magic word in North Carolina law for North Carolina mugshot removal. It’s an expungement.
In some other states, the term is “expunction.” In North Carolina, it’s “expungement.”
Expungement is a process of wiping your arrest record clean. This typically happens if police arrested you but the DA never tried you in court. You can expunge your records if your charges were dismissed. If you went to trial and a jury found you not guilty, your record can be expunged.
If your charges were dismissed or your record was expunged, then North Carolina law requires websites to take your mugshot down. It’s a lot easier to document your expungement in North Carolina that it is in most other states.
How You Get Proof of Dismissal
The North Carolina AOC (Administrative Office of the Courts) will have a record of every case’s disposition. In nearly all North Carolina county courts, the Clerk of Court’s office can find these records by doing a computer search under your name. Just request a hard copy and send it to the website or company or individual that is posting your mugshot.
How You Get and Use Proof of Expungement
It’s a little more complicated to use proof of expungement. First you contact the website you want to take your mugshot down, Ask them where they got your mugshot. Then go to the agency that sent the website your mugshot from their records.
If it was the AOC that sent the website your mugshot, call their Remote Public Access Office at (919) 890-2220. Then the AOC will request a certificate stating that the charges against you were expunged.
Once you have that certificate from the North Carolina AOC, then you can contact the website about removing your photo. North Carolina law requires them to remove your mugshot 30 days after they have received your certificate of expungement.
What if you don’t have a certificate of expungement on file with the AOC?
What does it take to show that your arrest or your conviction was expunged?
First, you will have to file a petition with the court where your trial was held, or where your trial would have been held if the charges hadn’t been dropped.
Your petition has to be addressed in the right North Carolina court. It can’t just say “I’m innocent, and your DA knows it.”
Also, be sure to:
- Use highly respectful language (without making up flattering terminology, “Your Honor” will do).
- Ask the court specifically to expunge your record.
- State why you are entitled to expungement.
(There is a complicated procedure for a habeas corpus hearing if you were found guilty, but that’s just not something you can do on your own.)
Then you will need to get statements from the department that arrested you. They will attest that you weren’t charged. Or you need to get the DA to provide a statement that your charges were dismissed. Or you will need to get a copy of your not guilty verdict,
Then you need to file all this paperwork with the court and wait for a hearing. The judge will consider your request for expunction. (In North Carolina, this kind of order is known as expunction, not expungement.)
If the judge grants your request, then you need to file a copy of that ruling with the right clerk. Then you need to send a copy of the clerk’s receipt to Google with a polite request that they take down your photo.
But what if you can’t get a certificate of expungement?
Not everybody charged with a crime is found not guilty or has their charges dismissed. If that’s the case, you can’t get a North Carolina order of expungement.
People see your North Carolina mugshot when they Google your name. This triggers some common questions:
- What do I have to do to get my mugshot off the Internet?
- Will Google take my mugshot down?
- Is there a free North Carolina mugshot removal service?
- Is there a cheap North Carolina mugshot removal service?
Getting Google to remove your North Carolina mugshot
Let’s start with what can be done to get Google to take your mugshot down.
Google isn’t totally unsympathetic to innocent people who have their mugshots online.
If you can show that your arrest ought to have been expunged, or you were a minor, or there were extenuating circumstances, they may take your photo out of search results. That means, when someone types in your name to do a Google search, your mugshot won’t show up.
That isn’t likely.
There is another way to deal with Google.
Move your mugshot photo off the first page of Google results
Another way of dealing with your mugshot on Google is to push it down the list of search results.
This way your North Carolina mugshot appears on the second or third or fourth page of search results. You can hope people don’t look that far.
The way to do this is to post lots of favorable photos of yourself on lots of websites. You’ll need an image tag with each photo that has your name spelled exactly the same way as it is with your mugshot photo.
Google’s search algorithm treats personal photos as more important than mugshot photos. They will display your personal photos first. Eventually. The process can take several months.
It can also help to publish your real photo under your real name, spelled the same way as on your mugshot, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social media sites. Google indexes them, too.
This method doesn’t cost anything, but it takes time. And it doesn’t get rid of your photo for good.
Paying ransom to mugshots.com doesn’t work.
Paying a hefty fee to mugshots.com will get your mugshot off their site, but it won’t do anything about Google.
There’s a special rule in North Carolina about DUI mugshots
North Carolina Laws 2013,Cch 330, § 1 has a special rule for DUI mugshots. If you have an order of expunction from a court for an North Carolina DUI, and you filed it with the right clerk, then you can:file a request with an online site with your mugshot, and they have to remove it.
There’s just one problem with this law.
If you were arrested and then not charged because of a diversion program, you don’t have a right to have your mugshot taken down.
In other words, if you had a DUI, and then you got your act together and didn’t do it again, too bad, your mugshot will haunt you.
You also don’t have rights to get your mugshot taken down if you were arrested and the DA just never decided to take you to court.
Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of North Carolina law. Lawyers, of course, cost hundreds of dollars per hour.
Need help with North Carolina mugshot removal?
Turn to the mugshot removal experts today. We provide North Carolina mugshot removal solutions that get results fast.
Call 844-935-1118 today for your free consultation.